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fishmommie
11-16-2012, 02:13 PM
I woke up this morning to find my beautiful emperor pleco dead. I have no idea what could have happened.
I've had him for 2 months, he's seemed healthy, eating algae like crazy, always made Zucchini available.
Tested water immediately this morning. Ammonia: trace which I suspect is due to the dead pleco. Nitrites 0. Nitrates 5. Ph 7

I'm starting to think he was actually dead all day yesterday. He had moved from his usual upside down position on a rock or munching on algae and was lying on the bottom of the tank. I was happy to see some new behavior - guess he was either dead already or dying.

The ONLY thing I can think of was that last Saturday I took out all the rocks and plants and soaked them in a 10% bleach and 90% water solution to remove a lot of nasty diatoms. But I thoroughly rinsed each rock and plant then soaked them in tap water mixed with a quadruple strength dose of Prime for at least 20 minutes before replacing the items back in the tank.

Please tell me that's not what killed him. I can't believe he starved because he was mowing paths through the lush green algae on the driftwood.

The only other change in the tank was I added a small royal pleco and 3 apple snails 3 days ago. The royal has pretty much been hanging on the glass or the HOB intake tube since I got it.

Any thoughts on what might have happened? I'm broken hearted over losing him.

ddavis1979
11-16-2012, 03:08 PM
That is heart breaking to lose such a woderful fish, so sorry to hear that.

I am no expert, and the bleach solution would be my first guess as well. I am hesitant to use any chemicals like that, but its not unheard of and it sounds like you took all proper precautions.

When it comes to living things, there is a luck factor. Just like people there are 1,001 ways to die and a lot of them are inexplicable. Old age, internal disease. A lot of people, and fish, die of stupidity. "Hold my beer and watch this." or for fish, "Lets eat too much and explore in places too small to get out of."

Again, sorry for your loss, and I hope you find some answers.

jeffs99dime
11-16-2012, 03:40 PM
fishmommie, did you smell the rocks to make sure you couldn't smell bleach residue on them? It's also possible it was out of your control. Maybe he was sick when you bought him. He wasn't in QT beforehand right? Sorry to hear that. Does your petstore have have a return policy, some do.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 03:43 PM
Thanks ddavis. And yes, it's pretty upsetting.
I just brought a new royal home the other day. So far, he's pretty much latched onto the back of the HOB and stays there. If he comes out at night, he's not eating any veggies. I've dropped some algae wafers in at lights out hoping he finds them. They're gone in the morning but it doesn't mean HE at them. And i've rarely seen him munch on the algae on the driftwood

I'm seriously rethinking the wisdom of having a pleco in this tank and wondering if I should forget about bottom feeders all together and return the royal to the LFS. The swimmers stocked in this tank are aggressive eaters. I tend to overfeed to make sure the plecs get food and then I have an algae/phosphate issue. just got my phosphate test in the mail today. it's running a solid 1 when it should be 0. Know I can control it with phosphate reducing products but hey, if I could avoid the overfeeding issue all together and give up on the pleco, maybe that's what I should do. I'll just be happy with my little bn in my 30 and call it good.

anyone have any thoughts on that or is this just post pleco loss depression setting in? laughing - sort of...

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 03:45 PM
fishmommie, did you smell the rocks to make sure you couldn't smell bleach residue on them? It's also possible it was out of your control. Maybe he was sick when you bought him. He wasn't in QT beforehand right? Sorry to hear that. Does your petstore have have a return policy, some do.
Hi Jeff. And yes -- I did smell them. And I really rinsed them well and soaked them, as I said with a ton of Prime in my kitchen sink so I can't imagine that was the cause but still ... it seems the likely culprit. :o(

jeffs99dime
11-16-2012, 03:46 PM
Yeah, the prime should have taken care of that, I was just trying to think of what "could have" caused it.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 03:50 PM
Yeah, the prime should have taken care of that, I was just trying to think of what "could have" caused it.
I know. Believe me ... my thoughts went in the same direction. I still wonder if it was the culprit even though it shouldn't have been. thanks

Rocksor
11-16-2012, 03:51 PM
I rehomed my plecos because they were not getting enough to eat with the silver dollars in the tank. Overfeeding the other fish (because they were faster and aggressive at eating) to just get the plecos to eat was no longer an option.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 04:06 PM
I rehomed my plecos because they were not getting enough to eat with the silver dollars in the tank. Overfeeding the other fish (because they were faster and aggressive at eating) to just get the plecos to eat was no longer an option.

Thanks for weighing in . And I'm seriously considering doing just that.. Returning the royal and maybe getting some more BPs or trying another angel to see if I can have 2 in the tank - or, as you have, adding some silver dollars and forgetting about the bottom feeders. It would solve my algae and phosphate issue too.

Knightia
11-16-2012, 04:10 PM
20 minutes doesn't seem long enough to me for the dechlor soak. I recently went to an aquascaping seminar where the speaker described how he regularly cleaned his CO2 pipework (all glass). He soaked them in bleach solution and used brushes on them. Then soaked them for 24 hours in several baths of water and decholrinator (at about 3 or 4 times the strength).

I wonder if any of your ornaments was slightly porous, and thus, soaked up some of the bleach. 20 minutes (I would imagine) would not be enough to neutralise this.

Crispy
11-16-2012, 04:45 PM
could easily be any of the above. just wanted to comment on the phosphates. not saying they are what caused any deaths, but if you want to reduce phosphates, use some RO water for your water changes. half RO and half tapwater is a good combo for your new water if you wish to reduce phosphate.

regardless, phosphates are usually not the cause of fish deaths. usually you will just get an algae bloom when phosphates are high. more algae will eat more phosphate and it can level itself out after awhile.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 06:10 PM
could easily be any of the above. just wanted to comment on the phosphates. not saying they are what caused any deaths, but if you want to reduce phosphates, use some RO water for your water changes. half RO and half tapwater is a good combo for your new water if you wish to reduce phosphate.

regardless, phosphates are usually not the cause of fish deaths. usually you will just get an algae bloom when phosphates are high. more algae will eat more phosphate and it can level itself out after awhile.

Thanks - I have 0 phosphates in my tap water (just checked it) so I suspect the reason I have them in the tank is because I'm probably over feeding. Always an issue for me. But again, I think much of the problem in my instance is concern over the pleco getting food because of my greedy BP and Angel and Sev - and let's not forget the congos.

Have been watching the tank a little closer. I think I might have a bully angel fish. NOT to the swimmers but to the pleco. He's been hanging around the filter intake tube where the pleco is hiding on the back. So maybe he's my culprit. Maybe that's why the emperor hid all the time and perhaps the angel got him?
Or is that unlikely?

In any event, I'm hoping my LFS will take the royal back since I just got him Tuesday and let me trade him for something else.
Think I'm done with cats of any kind in this tank. Sad to say ...

Knightia
11-16-2012, 06:13 PM
Have you done a few large water changes just in case it's contaminant in the water?

Or are you sure it's the angel bully?

I know that whatever tanks I keep in the future, I'll not be keeping DGs or angels. For such delicate looking fish they are real horrors. :scry:

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 06:15 PM
20 minutes doesn't seem long enough to me for the dechlor soak. I recently went to an aquascaping seminar where the speaker described how he regularly cleaned his CO2 pipework (all glass). He soaked them in bleach solution and used brushes on them. Then soaked them for 24 hours in several baths of water and decholrinator (at about 3 or 4 times the strength).

I wonder if any of your ornaments was slightly porous, and thus, soaked up some of the bleach. 20 minutes (I would imagine) would not be enough to neutralise this.

This is very scary. And could certainly explain what happened. The rocks are all very hard (redundant, I know) and do not appear to be porous but, what do I know. It could very well have been the issue. If so, I'm doubly sad because that means I killed the fish.
I just dumped 2 capfuls of Prime into the tank just to be on the safe side in the event there's still some chlorine from the bleach in the tank.
Thanks, Firefly

Knightia
11-16-2012, 06:19 PM
I'd take out everything you soaked in bleach and soak it in hot dechlor-heavy water overnight (in case it releases any more).

Do a 75% water change today and again tomorrow. Hopefully that'll prevent any more being affected (if it is contamination). And if it isn't then you have nothing to lose.

What a pain this is, sorry to hear of all your troubles. :scry:

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 06:19 PM
Have you done a few large water changes just in case it's contaminant in the water?

Or are you sure it's the angel bully?

I know that whatever tanks I keep in the future, I'll not be keeping DGs or angels. For such delicate looking fish they are real horrors. :scry:

No, I haven't done a W/C yet but I did dump in some Prime. have had apts on and off today and may not be able to work in a W/C until this evening.

And no, I'm not sure the angel is the bully. He's fine with all the other fish. And I may be tagging him as a villain for no good reason but he is the only one of the others hanging around the intake tube where the royal just happens to be. so if there IS in fact a villain, he's my prime suspect. He's a gorgeous, social fish and I'll take the pleco back before I take him out. So don't label all angels as bad fish LOL. I really love this guy - or girl

Knightia
11-16-2012, 06:22 PM
Oh I know they're not all evil. I've kept several myself in the past and some were ok. But when they have an attitude it tends to go homicidal!

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 06:24 PM
I'd take out everything you soaked in bleach and soak it in hot dechlor-heavy water overnight (in case it releases any more).

Do a 75% water change today and again tomorrow. Hopefully that'll prevent any more being affected (if it is contamination). And if it isn't then you have nothing to lose.

What a pain this is, sorry to hear of all your troubles. :scry:

I do appreciate the suggestion but wow, it seems a bit extreme. All the other fish are fine and it's been a full week since I cleaned things. I don't know ... I need to think about this. Those are drastic water changes and I'd hate to mess up the good balance I have in the tank. One other time when I did such drastic W/C, I killed an angel. So ... hum and again, I need to think about this. But I do appreciate the suggestion

Crispy
11-16-2012, 07:08 PM
plecos are armour plated and like little tanks. I doubt an angel could bully him to death. I would look elsewhere for the cause....hmmm...

escamosa
11-16-2012, 07:42 PM
This is going to be one those mysteries I think. I have my doubts whether the bleach solution is what killed the pleco. If it WAS the bleach, then in my opinion there would be more ill fishes in the tank by now, and it would of been doing some kind of damage a long time ago. It just seems strange that it took a week to kill a fish, and it was only one fish. Not saying that this isn't possible, but I do have my doubts.

The way that you feed your fishes, and what you've told me that their diet consists of is telling me that he definitely didn't starve or had any issues relating to his diet.

Your water conditions are always really good.

And there's a big possibilty that the Angel could be a big enough bully to even kill a Pleco, especially a smallish one. All the armour in the world can stop the fish from getting actually hurt, but it won't stop the stress from constant beatings or bullying.

This is a tough one to give a definite answer to, but if it was me in this situation, I'd be looking at the Angel. Only because no other fish in the tank has died (from the possible bleach solution), AND you've seen it hovering around where the Pleco used to rest, AND you've seen it chasing other fishes.

Really sorry, Cindy. :scry:

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 07:43 PM
plecos are armour plated and like little tanks. I doubt an angel could bully him to death. I would look elsewhere for the cause....hmmm...
Thanks again Crispy. I realize they are armour plated and I wasn't thinking the angel could have actually killed him but perhaps badgered him which may have stressed him and maybe caused him to not eat?
Something else that just occurred to me. I bought 4 ottos 1 month ago. 2 died within a few days. I chalked it up to wild caught, stress, whatever. the other two were fine. but yesterday, another one was dead. I had seen the angel chase an otto several times, so, again, I guess I was thinking maybe the angel figured out he could badger and picked until he stressed the otto too. Then went after the pleco?
Again, just reaching here

Rocksor
11-16-2012, 07:44 PM
This is going to be one those mysteries I think. I have my doubts whether the bleach solution is what killed the pleco. If it WAS the bleach, then in my opinion there would be more ill fishes in the tank by now, and it would of been doing some kind of damage a long time ago. It just seems strange that it took a week to kill a fish, and it was only one fish. Not saying that this isn't possible, but I do have my doubts.

I agree...you would have lost your cycle and you would have more dead fish by now.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 08:07 PM
This is going to be one those mysteries I think. And there's a big possibilty that the Angel could be a big enough bully to even kill a Pleco, especially a smallish one. All the armour in the world can stop the fish from getting actually hurt, but it won't stop the stress from constant beatings or bullying. ... I'd be looking at the Angel. Only because no other fish in the tank has died (from the possible bleach solution), AND you've seen it hovering around where the Pleco used to rest, AND you've seen it chasing other fishes.

Really sorry, Cindy. :scry:
Thanks Chris. I'm kind of leaning that way too. Sadly, I'll probably be returning my royal pleco as I don't want him or her to suffer the same fate. appreciate you weighing in.

escamosa
11-16-2012, 08:10 PM
You're welcome. You aren't concidering taking out the Angel instead?

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 08:15 PM
You're welcome. You aren't concidering taking out the Angel instead?

No. I love the angel and it's some much more visible than the pleco. Love the pleco but I rarely see them. also, it's difficult to feed plecos in this tank. The BPs and the congos are BOISTROUS eaters. So I end up over feeding trying to make sure the plecos get food and then I get algae ... on and on.

If I just eliminate the problem eaters (the plecos) and get some more swimmers, it should solve a lot of problems.
I'll just be happy with my little BN in my 30 gallon. He's so cute and so busy an so visible all the time - unlike the emperor was or the royal is starting out to be. He's still hanging on the back of the pump where he's pretty much been for 4 days now.

escamosa
11-16-2012, 08:37 PM
Ok, cool. All that matters is that you're happy with your tank, and nothing is getting beaten up. Just be very careful about what you choose to add, if the Angel is starting to get a little bit nasty. Stick to species that like to hang around in the top third or bottom third of the tank. Angels seem to like to hang around in the middle third of the tank, and if he's getting to be a bit of a bully, he'll more than likely start to go after anything that likes to share that middle third of the tank too much - especially at feeding time.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 08:39 PM
Ok, cool. All that matters is that you're happy with your tank, and nothing is getting beaten up. Just be very careful about what you choose to add, if the Angel is starting to get a little bit nasty. Stick to species that like to hang around in the top third or bottom third of the tank. Angels seem to like to hang around in the middle third of the tank, and if he's getting to be a bit of a bully, he'll more than likely start to go after anything that likes to share that middle third of the tank too much - especially at feeding time.

Would love some suggestions! heading for the LFS in a few minutes. Have the royal pleco in a bucket :o) sorry to see him go.

Could I add another Sev or would they fight? Silver dollars? Maybe another batch of schooling fish? a festum?

How about 3 roseline sharks? they move mostly on the bottom and are very pretty fish - not really sharks, I know. Also wondered about a red tail shark. do they get nasty?

escamosa
11-16-2012, 09:13 PM
Roselines are beautiful fish. They're actually a barb, but as far as barbs go, I believe that they can be added in smaller schools. I have actually seen a guy in a town close to mine that has six of them in a 75g tank, and they look incredible with all the other tetra's. Not sure how the silver dollars will go. They're pretty peaceful fish, but everywhere you look or go, they're in with or recommended to be put in with other fish that share their size. Not too sure about those. Stay away from the Red Tail sharks though. They can be nasty pieces of work, and in my opinion should be put into tanks no smaller than 120g and with fish the same size or larger, and anymore than one of them can turn out terrible.

steeler58
11-16-2012, 10:13 PM
Your probably already there (LFS) but get more Congo's.
Again sorry for your loss.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 11:22 PM
Your probably already there (LFS) but get more Congo's.
Again sorry for your loss.
thanks Escamosa and Steeler. he was fresh out of congos. but he had a trio of nice sized silver dollars. Nice peaceful fish and I know they pair well with the BP's. not as colorful but very pretty in shape + he's had them for over 3 months in their own tank so QT is not an issue for me. They're drip acclimating right now.
Know that they will get pretty big but I've got a lot of time before any of these fish outgrow the tank so they should be a good addition for now.

The roselines were really small = too small for my current stock so, we'll see how this goes.
thanks everyone.

Knightia
11-16-2012, 11:27 PM
Ahhh, silver dollars are lovely! :19: You'll need more than 3 though - they're schooling fish. I kept 6 when I had them. They are very skittish and can move like lightning when they want to. Be aware that spooking them will result in them smashing into the ends of your tank so until they've settled, walk into the room slowly!

They love peas and romain lettuce. They're big veggie-eaters. thumbs2:

steeler58
11-16-2012, 11:31 PM
I always liked silver dollars but their size always kept me away, something you don't have to worry about.

fishmommie
11-16-2012, 11:46 PM
Ahhh, silver dollars are lovely! :19: You'll need more than 3 though - they're schooling fish. I kept 6 when I had them. They are very skittish and can move like lightning when they want to. Be aware that spooking them will result in them smashing into the ends of your tank so until they've settled, walk into the room slowly!

They love peas and romain lettuce. They're big veggie-eaters. thumbs2:

thanks firefly. I'll make sure they get some lettuce = already feed the tank peas on a regular basis.
Three was all he had and as I've said, these three have been together for a long time. Also appreciate the tip on their skittishness. I'm used to walking softly around the tank so this will not be a new practice :o)

steeler58
11-17-2012, 03:48 AM
It looks like your still on the forum, so how did they like their new tank?

fishmommie
11-17-2012, 12:38 PM
[QUOTE=steeler1]It looks like your still on the forum, so how did they like their new tank?[/QUOTE

Sorry I didn't see this. so far. all is good. They're appear to be comfortable and calmly exploring. The BP's don't seem to be too sure about them and have tucked into their hiding spots.
Feeding time soon so I have no doubt they're be front and center again
thanks for checking!@

Indian Woods Angels
11-17-2012, 03:01 PM
They are zero nitrate fish. In breeding my L144's if the nitrate elevates I have troubles. Most likely just a bit of a spike of something.

fishmommie
11-17-2012, 03:09 PM
They are zero nitrate fish. In breeding my L144's if the nitrate elevates I have troubles. Most likely just a bit of a spike of something.

Whoa. 0 nitrate. that I did not know. Although the nitrites in this tank have remained very low - less than 5. Still he was always on the bottom so there certainly would have been a higher nitrate concentration there.
thanks.

Rocksor
11-17-2012, 04:16 PM
thanks firefly. I'll make sure they get some lettuce = already feed the tank peas on a regular basis.
Three was all he had and as I've said, these three have been together for a long time. Also appreciate the tip on their skittishness. I'm used to walking softly around the tank so this will not be a new practice :o)

Simply walking by silently is enough for them to spook and fly across the tank. Don't even get me on the water changes. They won't stop sprinting to each side of the tank until the gravel tube is out.

fishmommie
11-17-2012, 04:54 PM
Simply walking by silently is enough for them to spook and fly across the tank. Don't even get me on the water changes. They won't stop sprinting to each side of the tank until the gravel tube is out.

Oh boy. So far, these guys haven't been too skittish. I have to walk by the tank to get to my desk in my office and have been by many times already today. They're doing pretty good. The BP's, however, have gone into hiding mode. they must be pouting because they popped out for breakfast, greedy as always, but are now back in their caves - probably protecting their established territories not realizing the SD's are too big to take over their little hidey holes.
Today is water change day but I'm going to put it off until tomorrow to give the SD's a little longer to get used to the lay out.

So far, they don't like anything I've fed them. totally ignored the fish flakes. I wasn't thinking. should have picked up some veggie flakes. They did pick at the peas I dropped in and ate a little but are ignoring the romaine lettuce I've clipped to the driftwood. just sank a slice of cucumber - we'll see what happens with that. I'm betting they've never been given fresh veggies so it may take a while for them to realize it's food.

Has anyone tried canned spinach with SD's?

steeler58
11-17-2012, 09:17 PM
I think you having a bigger tank will help them be less jumpy. I'm sure they will be fine. Do a little more reading on them.

There are also several different silver's out there so everyone will have a different disposition.

fishmommie
11-17-2012, 09:59 PM
I think you having a bigger tank will help them be less jumpy. I'm sure they will be fine. Do a little more reading on them.

There are also several different silver's out there so everyone will have a different disposition.

Have been reading like crazy - thanks! They were a bit of an impulsive buy but I had checked them out before both in the lfs and on line. Sweet fish. so far so good.

escamosa
11-18-2012, 07:20 AM
Whoa. 0 nitrate. that I did not know. Although the nitrites in this tank have remained very low - less than 5. Still he was always on the bottom so there certainly would have been a higher nitrate concentration there.
thanks.

I didn't know they were that sensitive either. Could of been something to do with the UGF that you have running, Cindy.

Taurus
11-18-2012, 11:29 AM
I didn't know they were that sensitive either. Could of been something to do with the UGF that you have running, Cindy.

Ahh...uhh. My thoughts exactly. Sorry to hear you lost a pleco, Cindy. I reaaly don't think it had anything to do with the measures you took to clean up the diatoms.

fishmommie
11-18-2012, 12:42 PM
thanks guys ... I know you are all against UGFs and I will never discount anything the experts here on this forum suggest ... i'm just having trouble reconciling your experiences with the experiences of my LFS owner who has used nothing but UGfs combined with canisters with all of his many, many fish tanks for many many years. And his motive for selling me the ugf can't be money. he could have made a lot more money from me selling me 2 canisters over 1 canister + the Ugf.
I added a HOB a month ago because of your concerns which became my concerns, yet I remain in a quandary. nitrates consistently run less than 5 in this tank. best of all my tanks so the idea of a complete tear down to remove the UGF is just daunting
But I will definitely think about it ...
thanks as always. I so appreciate your thoughts.

butterbean
11-26-2012, 02:09 AM
Have been watching the tank a little closer. I think I might have a bully angel fish. NOT to the swimmers but to the pleco. He's been hanging around the filter intake tube where the pleco is hiding on the back. So maybe he's my culprit. Maybe that's why the emperor hid all the time and perhaps the angel got him?

:22: I got a BN a few weeks ago and was upset because my angel was so mean to him. I was lucky because Angel just stocks him now but the point I'm trying to make is angel went after my BN big time none of the other fish but she would not leave him alone so it very well could be you have a very aggressive angel with a thing for Pleco. She would even take the algae wafers away from him...

fishmommie
11-28-2012, 07:48 PM
Have been watching the tank a little closer. I think I might have a bully angel fish. NOT to the swimmers but to the pleco. He's been hanging around the filter intake tube where the pleco is hiding on the back. So maybe he's my culprit. Maybe that's why the emperor hid all the time and perhaps the angel got him?

:22: I got a BN a few weeks ago and was upset because my angel was so mean to him. I was lucky because Angel just stocks him now but the point I'm trying to make is angel went after my BN big time none of the other fish but she would not leave him alone so it very well could be you have a very aggressive angel with a thing for Pleco. She would even take the algae wafers away from him...

thanks for that. I pretty much think that's what my situation was. I returned the royal to the LFS, just in case. Didn't want another dead pleco on my hands. As much as I love them, I don't want to put them at risk. And I love the angel so he's going to stay. Which means no plecos in the 90 :o(

escamosa
11-30-2012, 10:28 AM
thanks guys ... I know you are all against UGFs and I will never discount anything the experts here on this forum suggest ... i'm just having trouble reconciling your experiences with the experiences of my LFS owner who has used nothing but UGfs combined with canisters with all of his many, many fish tanks for many many years. And his motive for selling me the ugf can't be money. he could have made a lot more money from me selling me 2 canisters over 1 canister + the Ugf.

Don't wanna preach too much about this, because you're doing a fantastic job with your tanks, Cindy. Just wanna point out a couple of things to give you a little more idea about the UGFs.

Does your UGF have filter media? To my knowledge, none of them have any. They rely on the substrate to be your bio-filter.

Where does the bulk of the beneficial bacteria (bio-filter) live in your tank? In your filter media.

How much filter media is in a canister filter? Heaps of it. This is why a combination of a UGF and a canister appears to work so well... The canister is doing 99% of the work.

How do you maintain a UGF? Yep, you can vacuum the gravel, but what about the stuff that builds up UNDER the gravel and the plastic grid?

Never think that a LFS owner or worker is selling you something out of the goodness of his or her heart. It's all about profit most of the time. Just because a canister filter is $250, doesn't mean that the LFS is making more money on it. They could be selling those canisters for a 10% profit to stay competitive, and they could be making anything up to 200% or more profit on the UGFs, which they probably buy for 5 or 6 bucks - maybe less. AND there's a fair chance that you'll have to buy a pump, airline, airstones, or some kind of powerhead to run it. Plus, he or she has already sold you a UGF and a canister, and if you find out later that the UGF isn't any good, then you're going to go back and buy another filter. That's just more profit.

A lot of LFSs use the UGFs because they're cheap, there is less to see, and while they make the water look ok, they seem to believe that they require less cleaning. I don't think to many LFS owners or workers do weekly gravel vacuums, or pull the gravel and plastic grid of the UGF out of the tank each week to clean the tank properly.

That's how it works in most LFSs - I used to work in one. :ssmile:

Taurus
11-30-2012, 11:12 AM
:18: .....CINDY....there's a wicked echo around here..I just heard myself giving you advice about that UGF....funny thing is the echo came all the way from Australia..............yodelayhewhoooooooo..

oh Lord, I apologize.....I just couldn't help myself.

fishmommie
11-30-2012, 01:52 PM
Escamosa and Taurus - I hear you both loud and clear (shades of Hiedi echoing through the Alps). But, and I realize it's a bit but (ahem) I can not fathom why, at this point, I would want to fix something that's not broken.
The tank is healthy, the algae is no longer an issue, the nitrates run around 5 - 10. The thought of tearing the tank apart to remove the UGF is not only daunting but troubling to me.
I'd have to net all the fish and put them - I don't know where. Bathtub? with a bubbler? Somehow get my humongous piece of anchored driftwood out of the tank (no easy feat because it took a village to get it in there, wedge the UGF grates out from under 90 pounds of gravel, which I'd probably also have to scoop out so I could make certain I got all the mulm out of the bottom, then reboot and HOPE I could achieve the same beautiful water and tank chemistry that I've got now. I can see it creating cloudy water for days. And I can see this project taking a solid day to complete. In the meantime ... the stress on my fish would bee horrific. Most likely, the little BP's would go back into hiding for another month LOL>
So --- much as I appreciate this very good advice, until I see my water quality slipping, I'm not touching it. I'm going to also trust in my LFS person who has also had years and years of experience, keeps several tanks at his home with nothing but ugf and canisters and swears by this method of filtration.
I'm using nothing but sponges and bioballs in the canister along with filter floss I've made myself from polyfiber fill. The hob also has the filter cartridge that came with it but when it falls apart, I'll replace it with fiber fill.

So - again, thanks guys. Respect ALL you have told me and taught me immensely but (there's that but again) I'm going to stay the course until, as I said, I see a degradation of my water quality.
Smooches .... FM

talldutchie
12-04-2012, 11:56 AM
Tearing out an UGF is a horrible job that essentially means a rebuilt. Not something to take lightly. If the water values are good (and the readings seems to support that) then I can understand why you wouldn't want to do that.

If I wanted to change away from an UGF I think I'd buy a cannister, set that running and after 2 months or so just disable the UGF and remove the bits that stick out, leave the rest in there. Then again I might be wrong.

FishSupper
12-05-2012, 03:06 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss, there such lovely plecos, its always risky using bleach and if used to much the effect can be severe, scalding hot water to wash some of the things with is better a know of people who use bleach and everything is okay but some fish may have weaker emmune systems than other.

Rocksor
12-05-2012, 03:25 PM
When UGFs are maintained properly, they are great at what they do, which is bio-filtration. You should vacuum the stuff underneath the grid by using a gravel vac to suction through the tubes to remove the mulm. You won't ever have nitrate creep if maintained this way.

I would just keep it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

fishmommie
12-05-2012, 03:56 PM
Sorry to hear about your loss, there such lovely plecos, its always risky using bleach and if used to much the effect can be severe, scalding hot water to wash some of the things with is better a know of people who use bleach and everything is okay but some fish may have weaker emmune systems than other.

Yeah ... I think I've pretty much decided it wasn't the bleach. I was extremely careful and it didn't harm any of the other fish. Still ... it remains a mystery. thanks for checking in. appreciate it.

fishmommie
12-05-2012, 04:00 PM
When UGFs are maintained properly, they are great at what they do, which is bio-filtration. You should vacuum the stuff underneath the grid by using a gravel vac to suction through the tubes to remove the mulm. You won't ever have nitrate creep if maintained this way.

I would just keep it. If it ain't broke don't fix it.

When you say suction through the tubes - do you mean remove the tube from the grate then fix the gravel vac directly over the hole? Or suction at the top after removing the power heads? I could do either :o) thanks for the suggestion.
And I hope you're right. My cannister is filled with biomax (thanks Taurus), floss and a sponge. The HOB is stuffed with polyfiberfill and a sponge. And I vac weekly. Trates have stayed very low in this tank. Ten or less just before a w/c. but as my stock grows in size, I suspect that may change so I do want to keep on top of it.

Rocksor
12-05-2012, 04:17 PM
You don't have to remove the tube from the grate. Remove the powerhead, and get a long piece of tubing about as round as the one used in a gravel vaccum & snake it down one of the uplift tubes & suck out all the detritus. Be very careful when snaking the vinyl tube because if you pull out one of the uplift tubes, you probably won't be able to get it back in.

You should be fine doing this every 6 months.

fishmommie
12-05-2012, 05:01 PM
You don't have to remove the tube from the grate. Remove the powerhead, and get a long piece of tubing about as round as the one used in a gravel vaccum & snake it down one of the uplift tubes & suck out all the detritus. Be very careful when snaking the vinyl tube because if you pull out one of the uplift tubes, you probably won't be able to get it back in.

You should be fine doing this every 6 months.
great. thanks. My only concern is if my aquean water changer can provide enough suction. It's on a 50 foot hose